by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor, John Locke Foundation
It is very disturbing when the idea of electricity at the flip of a switch is described as just our “current model” of electricity. Such a rhetorical framework implies a future model, and any change in that model would necessarily require not being able to access power at the flip of the switch at certain times, which sounds like the logical end of what is euphemistically called “Demand Side Management.”
If the current model of electricity is “unlimited electricity reliably at all times,” then the future model of electricity would change such terms as unlimited, reliability, and at all times.
Furthermore, if natural gas is to be dismissed as a mere “bridge” fuel to … (never stated explicitly, but apparently meaning solar, wind, and maybe nuclear), then the “current model”/power-at-the-flip-of-a-switch model is very important to keep.
Why? Because only under the current model would such notoriously intermittent and inefficient sources need to find ways to generate power reliably at all times, a pressure that could put restless entrepreneurs on the road toward finding a breakthrough fuel storage technology or something else to solve that problem — just as entrepreneurs solved the problem of freeing natural gas and oil from solid rock, over a mile underground.
Otherwise, changing the “current model” to serve energy sources rather than energy consumers necessarily means making electricity — which is a basic household necessity — more and more expensive and less and less available. Which also means doubly harming consumers, and the poor most of all.